Tirreno-Adriatico 1 OPQS did it AGAIN (and again)

OPQS press release:
12-Mar-2014: Two-time UCI World TTT Champion Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team powered to victory by an impressive 11" seconds on the flat, 18.5km parcours of the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial on Wednesday. This is the second straight year the team has won the team time trial stage. 

Mark Cavendish took over on the front after Tony Martin in the final meters, helping to drag the team along the line as they beat ORICA-GreenEDGE and their previous best time of 20'24" (54.411km/h average speed) with an average speed of 54.905 kilometers per hour. Movistar was 3rd, 18" back.

As a result of the win, Cavendish put on the Maglia Azzurra (blue jersey) as the race leader. Kwiatkowski now wears the Maglia Blanca (white jersey) for best young rider.

OPQS will defend the leader's jersey at 166km Stage two, from San Vincenzo to Cascina, on Thursday. The earlier parts of the parcours are undulating, but the profile goes flat after 108.2, which leaves the possibility of a bunch sprint finale.
Mark Cavendish Pic by the speaker Paolo Mei

"To be fair, we went fast, we went hard, but the faster you go in the team time trial the easier it feels," Cavendish said. "We were really smooth with the pace the whole way. You almost feel like you didn't go fast enough when it's like that. The team time trials where we've normally felt the best are when we win by a lot. We really feel OK at the end. We did the course many times yesterday and the day before. We knew every corner, we knew exactly where we had to go, and we knew our form. I'm really happy. We have a very strong, dedicated team. Everybody was nervous. Alessandro Petacchi, in his 20 years as a professional, this is his first team time trial. So he was nervous coming into this. But for me, we have the fastest bike in the peloton with the Specialized Shiv. It's really fast. The work we do as well is not just any kind of work to prepare for our time trials during the season. Specialized puts the bike in their own wind tunnel with every rider.  Every rider is as aerodynamic as they can be, individually. With the aerodynamics we have the fastest bikes around. We also have a super committed team. Things like that really add up. It was really nice to get this win for the whole team and we can celebrate today."

"I think we, at minimum, have the same quality team as last year," UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin said. "For sure we wanted to win. On paper we had the strongest guys, we had the perfect preparation for the course  as we were able to pass through it multiple times at race speed. So, the preparation was perfect and with the team being so strong and so motivated, it was actually an easy day. Not easy as in we weren't suffering, but we were just so focused in the head we were basically calm this morning.  We stuck to the plan. Actually I think we did almost exactly the same performance as we did in training. We just went a bit faster. Then, we have for sure the fastest bike in the Specialized Shiv. On top of that we had the correct order because it is also important you do not want to have too much difference in the speed between the strongest guys and the others. We had a really good tempo, a good average speed. It was really nice. I was never scared we could lose the race. I had a good feeling. As for me, the next steps are to be useful for the team and then do my best for a top result in the individual time trial. I hope I can play a good role, especially in the final stages, and for sure I want to go for my own result on the last day here."


1 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:20:13
2 Orica Greenedge 0:00:11
3 Movistar 0:00:18
4 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:24
5 Cannondale 0:00:26
6 Team Sky 0:00:27
7 Lotto-Belisol 0:00:28
8 Trek Factory Racing 0:00:36
9 Belkin 0:00:37
10 FDJ.fr 0:00:43
11 BMC Racing Team 0:00:47
12 IAM Cycling 0:00:50
13 Lampre-Merida 0:00:53
14 NetApp-Endura
15 AG2R La Mondiale
16 Astana Pro Team 0:21:07
17 Giant-Shimano 0:21:08
18 Garmin-Sharp 0:21:17
19 Katusha 0:21:19
20 Bardiani-CSF 0:21:30
21 MTN-Qhubeka 0:21:32
22 Team Europcar 0:21:41

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team

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